High-resolution coupled ice sheet-ocean modeling using the POPSICLES model

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Esmond G Ng1, Daniel F Martin1, Xylar Asay-Davis2, Stephen F Price3 and William Collins1, (1)Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, United States, (2)Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany, (3)Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, United States
It is expected that a primary driver of future change of the Antarctic ice sheet will be changes in submarine melting driven by incursions of warm ocean water into sub-ice shelf cavities. Correctly modeling this response on a continental scale will require high-resolution modeling of the coupled ice-ocean system. We describe the computational and modeling challenges in our simulations of the full Southern Ocean coupled to a continental-scale Antarctic ice sheet model at unprecedented spatial resolutions (0.1 degree for the ocean model and adaptive mesh refinement down to 500m in the ice sheet model).

The POPSICLES model couples the POP2x ocean model, a modified version of the Parallel Ocean Program (Smith and Gent, 2002), with the BISICLES ice-sheet model (Cornford et al., 2012) using a synchronous offline-coupling scheme. Part of the PISCEES SciDAC project and built on the Chombo framework, BISICLES makes use of adaptive mesh refinement to fully resolve dynamically-important regions like grounding lines and employs a momentum balance similar to the vertically-integrated formulation of Schoof and Hindmarsh (2009). Results of BISICLES simulations have compared favorably to comparable simulations with a Stokes momentum balance in both idealized tests like MISMIP3D (Pattyn et al., 2013) and realistic configurations (Favier et al. 2014). POP2x includes sub-ice-shelf circulation using partial top cells (Losch, 2008) and boundary layer physics following Holland and Jenkins (1999), Jenkins (2001), and Jenkins et al. (2010). Standalone POP2x output compares well with standard ice-ocean test cases (e.g., ISOMIP; Losch, 2008) and other continental-scale simulations and melt-rate observations (Kimura et al., 2013; Rignot et al., 2013). For the POPSICLES Antarctic-Southern Ocean simulations, ice sheet and ocean models communicate at one-month coupling intervals.